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Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and achieve a better quality of life and independence.  Access to treatment and recovery supports that have proven effective can speed the individual’s recovery and minimize any harmful symptoms.

In addition to medication, psychosocial treatment such as individual and group therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be part of a treatment plan and assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities also contribute to mental illness recovery.

To learn more about specific illnesses, visit the NAMI website page on mental illnesses.

The Florida Department of Children & Families’ Mental Health Office maintains a statewide list of publicly-funded mental health and substance abuse service providers under contract to the state. You can search for these providers at the DCF site:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has a searchable, online listing of treatment facilities across the country. Go to the SAMHSA Treatment Facility Locator and click on Florida or the state where you are seeking services to get more information.


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